Islamabad, 28 November 2023 (TDI): Dr. Nadeem Jan, the Federal Health Minister, took the helm at an inter-ministerial gathering today in Islamabad, bringing together provincial health ministers and their representatives.
This collaborative forum initiated a comprehensive 10-point agenda, aiming to usher in a transformative era for Pakistan’s health sector.
In a momentous decision, the meeting sanctioned the launch of the Rs. 6.8 billion National Diabetes Program, designed to combat the widespread prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
This program stands out for its provision of free screening and diagnostic services, a crucial step in addressing health challenges.
Building on this momentum, another key initiative emerged with the approval of the Rs.34.5 billion National Hepatitis Program.
The Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan’s government oversees this ambitious program, which creates a task force to provide free screening, diagnosis, and treatment facilities all over the country.
This interconnected approach underscores a commitment to comprehensive health solutions.
Furthermore, the Inter-Ministerial meeting charted a course for strengthening primary healthcare through the Rs. 430 million National Health Support Program.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting this initiative, which calls for refurbishing and operationalizing 500 basic health units by January 8.
The integration of global support emphasizes a collaborative effort to bolster the foundations of healthcare.
The unanimous praise from provincial health ministers and their representatives highlighted the collective acknowledgment of the government of Pakistan’s initiatives.
This emphasis on collaboration echoed throughout the meeting, emphasizing the interconnected efforts required to realize better health outcomes.
A national behavior change strategy is set to be introduced to empower the population with essential knowledge for adopting healthy behaviors.
In line with this commitment, the Federal Ministry of Health has been actively working to establish suitable platforms, ensuring the synchronization of various aspects of health and population.
This focus is particularly directed towards areas demanding a unified national approach and confronting common critical challenges.
The primary role of this forum is to provide national leadership, coordination, and alignment of roles and responsibilities among all stakeholders concerning national priorities and international commitments.
Additionally, the forum seeks to foster consensus on actions to overcome implementation bottlenecks related to policy and strategic issues.
Furthermore, the forum serves as an excellent opportunity for conducting joint performance reviews and enhancing mutual accountability.
During the meeting, several crucial areas were discussed, including co-financing for the hepatitis and diabetes project, updates on the NHSP CMU for GF ATM at the provincial level, the renovation of Basic Health Units (BHUs) nationwide, the National New-born Survival Strategy, and the National Behaviour Change Strategy, among others.
Provincial ministers expressed their support for these initiatives and commended the ministry’s efforts in coordinating the health and population sectors.
They emphasized a unanimous agreement across all areas and stressed the importance of collaborative efforts for improved health outcomes.
The provincial ministers acknowledged the Federal Government’s role in providing leadership and technical support and facilitating better donor coordination.